“When I first thought about making wine, I imagined I would make a Bordeaux blend. I certainly had a deep history of tasting and drinking such wines. As it turned out, the first wines I made were not Bordeaux blends; they were mostly California field blends made from Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet, and other varieties. In a small irony, before Prohibition, these wines frequently were labeled “Bordeaux” or “Burgundy.” They were the regional wines and grapes of California in much the same way the Bordeaux variety mix was for the Gironde. I had another reason not to make a Bordeaux blend in 1976 when I started Ravenswood: the grapes were not available to me. In fact, other than Cabernet Sauvignon, they were very rarely grown and if planted at all, did not have the multiple Bordeaux varieties in the same vineyard location. It wasn’t until 1986 that I was able to make a proper proprietary red blend from Pickberry Vineyard on Sonoma Mountain.
As fate would have it, my family and I now own Bedrock Vineyard, which has 44 acres of some of the oldest heritage vines in Sonoma County. This part of the vineyard produces grapes for some of California’s great heritage field blends. Much of the rest of the vineyard is planted to the Bordeaux varieties—Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. Since I co-ferment the grapes in my traditional California field blends, I thought it might be interesting to ferment a Bordeaux blend in that same fashion, picking all the grapes at the same time and fermenting them together. Frances Cuvée is the result. The wine is a very pretty representation of a French oak-aged California proprietary red blend.”
72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 7% Petite Verdot, and 7% Cabernet Franc.
176 Cases Produced.
Joel Peterson is a Zinfandel Legend. His career has pushed the limits of the American wine industry, he's been a steadfast champion of Zinfandel and Sonoma County, he created one of the most successful California brands ever, and his original punchdown tool hangs in the Smithsonian Museum- a testament to his place in American wine history.
Once and Future could be dubbed Joel Peterson's "new" venture, but it would be much more accurate to describe it as a return to his roots. When Joel started Ravenswood in 1976, he planned to make single vineyard wines in a style similar to those made in Europe but with a Californian twist; small open topped redwood fermenters (pictured above), hand punch downs, extended macerations, native yeast, gentle transfer, minimal processing and small French oak aging.
Though his intention was a 6,000 - 7,000 case winery that remained committed to these philosophies, the runaway success of Ravenswood 'Vintner's Blend' inevitably drove the project to a much larger scale.
This new venture is a return to the original vision Joel had for Ravenswood, it's what he once dreamed of and what he's chosen for the future. Touting decades of close relationships with the best old-vine, dry-farmed vineyards in California, Once and Future benefits in all the best ways from Joel's illustrious career. In this new chapter, Joel will make all the wine himself, in small quantities, according to his original vision.
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